5.17 Performing Common Maintenance Tasks

This section includes information about the following tasks:

5.17.1 Backing Up Server Data

Maintaining a daily backup of the data on your is crucial to the security of your data.

For information about the backup software included with NetWare, see the NW 6.5 SP8: Storage Management Services Administration Guide.

5.17.2 Checking Server Error Logs

Check server error logs at least once a week, even if you don’t believe there have been errors. Problems caught early are easier to solve. View the error logs with EDIT (command line) or Editor (GUI) at the server console or with a text editor from a workstation.

When needed, NetWare creates the following error logs in sys:system:

  • Boot$log.err for errors generated during the process of starting the server.

  • Sys$log.err for server errors, including system messages, alerts, and security violations.

  • Vol$log.err for volume errors.

  • Tts$log.err for data backed out by the transaction tracking system.

  • Abend.log for information generated by the abend process. This file is moved to sys:system as soon as the server is started after the abend.

5.17.3 Checking Disk Drives

Once a week check the Storage Devices statistics to make sure that the operating status of each disk is active. You can do this in Monitor or in Novell Remote Manager by clicking the View Statistics link under the Manage Server heading in the navigation frame and then selecting the applicable drives you want to view.

If you rarely use the diskette drive on your server, you might want to test the drive about twice a year to make sure it’s running properly.

5.17.4 Reviewing Server Cache Statistics

For more information about monitoring and optimizing server memory, see Optimizing Server Memory in the NW 6.5 SP8: Server Memory Administration Guide.

For server’s using Novell Storage Management, see Setting the Cache Balance in the NW 6.5 SP8: NSS File System Administration Guide.

For servers using the traditional file system:

  1. Review the traditional file server cache statistics weekly.

    These statistics are found on the File System Cache Statistics page in Novell Remote Manager.

  2. See the recommendations in the online help on this page for monitoring memory usage.

5.17.5 Checking Free Space on Server Disks and Volumes

  1. Check server disks and volumes weekly to make sure they have enough free space.

    To determine the amount of free space, load Monitor and select Volumes. The Mounted Volumes screen lists all mounted volumes, their capacity, and the percentage of the volume that is full.

    Keep at least 15% to 20% free space on any disk.

    Keep at least 20% free space on volume sys: and at least 10% free space on other volumes. If volume sys: fills up, your server hangs.

  2. If the free space is less than the recommended values, increase the size of the volume or remove unneeded files and directories.

You can use REBUILD on NSS logical volumes and VREPAIR on Traditional volumes. See VREPAIR or REBUILD in the NW 6.5 SP8: Utilities Reference.

5.17.6 Reviewing User Accounts

  1. Review all users and objects on the network once a month to make sure that there are no intruders, obsolete accounts, or unauthorized accounts.

  2. Make sure accounts are closed for all users who have left the system.

5.17.7 Testing the Uninterruptible Power Supply

If your network has an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), check it twice a year to make sure it’s running properly. Choose a time when no users are logged in to the network.

  1. Bring down the server and exit to DOS, but do not turn off the computer.

  2. While the computer is still running, unplug it.

    If your UPS system is working properly, the computer should continue to run.

    If the server powers off, your UPS batteries are probably low or dead. Check and replace them.

5.17.8 Documenting the Network

It is important to document your network. Keeping records of network layout, hardware and software inventory, configuration, repairs, and backup schedules will save you time and work if you need to rebuild or replace parts of the network, justify new equipment, or restore the network after a disaster. You will also need much of this information if you ever need to call Novell Support. You might want to keep documentation in a notebook or online in a database.

IMPORTANT:Whether you store your network documentation in a notebook or in a database, keep multiple copies and update them regularly. Always store one or more copies offsite—along with your taped backups. Documentation does no good if it’s destroyed with the network itself in a major disaster.

Your network documentation should include the following:

  • Inventory of all hardware and software

    Version numbers, serial numbers, warranty information, date purchased, license information, etc.

  • Configuration information for workstations

    Copies of autoexec.bat, net.cfg (for DOS and Windows 3.1x clients) or the registry (for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT/2000).

    Any standard directory structures.

  • Configuration information for server

    In Novell Remote Manager, click Run Config Report link under the Diagnose Server heading in the navigation frame. Click the View Report button. Then print and save the report. This report contains the following:

    • Contents of all .ncf, .bat, .cfg, .bat, abend.logs

    • A file list of the c: directory

    • A file list of the sys:system directory

    • A list of all Set parameters and current settings

    • A list of all the modules currently running on the server

    • A list of LAN driver configurations

    • Storage device configuration information

    • Volume statistics for volume sys: and _admin

    You should also gather the following information:

    • Services provided by each server, such as file and print, databases, etc.

    • General directory structure of each volume.

  • Configuration information for printers

    Map of printer locations, the version of NLM programs, and the dates and versions of print drivers.

  • eDirectory tree structure

    Print out the eDirectory structure from ConsoleOne or iMonitor. Document replicas and partitions.

  • Procedures

    Login processes and backup procedures. Most important, procedures for restoring the system from backups.

  • Backup information

    Rotation schedule of backup media, labeling system, names and phone numbers of backup operators, and locations of backup disks and tapes.

  • User information

    Login scripts and special menus.

  • Software and hardware repairs and service calls

    Repair records and receipts, service calls log, and solutions in case the same problem occurs again.

  • Diagram of network and cable plant

    Locations of servers, workstations, printers, routers, hubs, etc.; name of each element; the kinds of cables and connections.

  • Changes to the system.

    Any updates to the network or its components.